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Google Nexus One  (Source: Google)

Coming to Verizon in a few months... Google even suggests that you purchase a Motorola Droid if you can't wait for the Nexus One.
New phone features mostly superior hardware, complete voice-to-text, and much more -- though its app memory is tiny

Google took the stage at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (10 a.m. PST) this afternoon at its headquarters in California for a little announcement.  Okay -- a BIG announcement;  Google has unveiled what it calls the "next stage in evolution for the Android" -- the much rumored Nexus One (N1) smartphone, fondly nicknamed the "Google Phone" by the blogosphere.

The company calls the new phone a member of a new class of devices called "superphones" -- ultra-capable, web-ready phones.  Mario, VP of Product Development at Google took the stage to personally introduce the phone.  He describes, "[We're often asked] what if we work even more closely with our partners to bring devices to market to showcase the great software technology we’re working on at Google."

He says the N1 is the answer to that question and the "exemplar" of what can be done with Android.  He also revealed the hardware partner, stating, "The Nexus One was designed in very close partnership with HTC."

Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, then took the stage to fill in the hardware details.  The phone features a eye-catching 3.7" 480x800 AMOLED display (bigger than the iPhone's 3.5" screen and higher resolution than the iPhone's 320x480).  The phone is also powered by the 1 GHz Snapdragon QSD 8250 processor from Qualcomm, as rumored.  That makes it on paper faster than the the current generation iPhone 3G S, due to the latter's underclocking (which is powered by a Samsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 833 MHz CPU underclocked to 600 MHz).

Whereas the iPhone features a plain nondescript home button, the Nexus One's bottom interface device doubles both as a trackball and a button and a multi-color LED notification device.  The phone also features a wealth of sensors to enrich the performance, including light and proximity sensors, compass, GPS and accelerometer (it draws the iPhone in this category).

The phone is 11.5 mm thin and a mere 130 grams (narrowly beating the iPhone 3G S in both categories).  It features a 5 MP camera with LED flash, MPEG4 capabilities, and one-touch YouTube uploads.  The phone features stereo Bluetooth, a 3.5mm headphone jack (four contact points for microphone and remote), and active noise cancellation.  A second microphone in the back of the phone provides active noise cancellation during phone calls.  To top off the sweet hardware package, you can get custom engraving on the metal bezel on the backplate.

The 1400 mAh battery is expected to deliver 290 hours on standby, 10 hours talk time or 5 hours while browsing the internet.

The phone's only serious weak point is app memory -- currently you can only store apps on the 512 MB internal ROM, though soon you will be able to copy apps to the SD expansion.  Considering iPhone apps run as large as 10 MB, this is a serious shortcoming.

The phone also features Android 2.1, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.  The new OS is compatible with Facebook, Google Maps, and all the other apps from past versions of Android.  The phone features five home screens, so you have a fair amount of room for your favorite apps.  The phone features a rather nice news and weather widget that helps you get your info fix on the go.

Arguably the phone's single most impressive feature, though, is its incredible voice-to-text interface that allows you to literally read email messages and texts to your phone, which the N1 faithfully transcribes.  All text fields on the phone can be given text by voice.

The phone also offers a rich graphical environment, including some pretty sweet looking "interactive wallpapers".  The one demoed was a fall lake, with leaves falling into it.  Touching the screen would create ripples in the water, as did the falling leaves -- pure eye-candy, of course, but nice touches, nonetheless.    The phone also gets a special tilt-driven Cover Flow-esque photo interface that automatically syncs to your Picasa account if you have one.

The phone's powerful graphical capabilities also power a new mobile version of Google Earth that allows a 3D "flight" mode, that lets you explore the world in full 3D magic.

You can purchase the N1 through Google's new Google web store, which aims to offer a "simple purchasing process" and "simple offering of plans from operators".  Currently, the N1 is offered through the site, but more phones, including some from Motorola are coming.  Once you select a phone, you can check out or select one of the available carriers for a discount on the device and new contract.  The N1 is currently only offered on T-Mobile, but will be available on Verizon and Vodafone sometime in the spring (though it's unclear whether this CDMA-ready version will retain its GSM capability).  The phone will currently work with AT&T, but only on the slower EDGE network -- rather disappointing.

The T-Mobile phone can be had for $179 for new customers (or $280 if you're a returning customer w/out a data package, or $380 for returning customers with a data package), while an unlocked N1 retails for $529.  T-Mobile's plan runs $79.99 per month and includes unlimited texting/MMS, web data and unlimited minutes.  The purchase web form allows you to specify your custom engraving (2 lines), if you want it.  The store current ships to the U.S., UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.  The new online store idea seems like a great one -- you can get your new smartphone and not have to worry about being accosted by  phone store sales staff.



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Misleading
By amanojaku on 1/5/2010 2:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The phone's only serious weak point is app memory -- currently you can only store apps on the 512 MB internal ROM, though soon you will be able to copy apps to the SD expansion. Considering iPhone apps run as large as 10 MB, this is a serious shortcoming.
The 512MB internal ROM is not a limitation, it's by design. Apps are meant to be installed on the SD card and can be done today. This way the phone has support for variable memory sizes (4GB-32GB) as configured (purchased) by the user. The only question I have is how does one transfer apps from one card to the next?




RE: Misleading
By amanojaku on 1/5/2010 2:53:05 PM , Rating: 5
And this is incorrect:
quote:
The phone features a eye-catching 3.7" 480x 880 AMOLED display (bigger than the iPhone's 3.5" screen and higher resolution than the iPhone's 320x480).
It's 480x 800.

http://www.google.com/phone/static/en_US-nexusone_...


RE: Misleading
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Misleading
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/5/2010 2:55:19 PM , Rating: 1
As the article states, this is a temporary limitation and at some point will be lifted. Until it is, though, memory may be an issue for heavy app users.

Currently apps can NOT be stored on the SD expansion card -- Google made this clear during the Q&A. They will be able to be stored onto it eventually, but Google says it first has to find a way to deal with piracy issues.


RE: Misleading
By FITCamaro on 1/5/2010 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
They should let you format a certain portion of the memory card as encrypted to store and run apps from.


RE: Misleading
By quiksilvr on 1/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Misleading
By DopeFishhh on 1/5/2010 10:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
buying extra chips might be cheap but getting the phone circuitry and packaging to fit multiple chips in will be expensive. If you put a denser chip on, that's going to cost a lot more than $1.


RE: Misleading
By mindless1 on 1/6/2010 8:29:01 AM , Rating: 2
Could be a processor interface limit, but doubtful it's a # of chips limit since flash chips aren't merely 512MB each anymore.

It might really only cost a buck more but they would have some rationale for using least capacity necessary/cost if they'd always planned on having the removable media store this data, that it simply hadn't been implemented yet.


RE: Misleading
By rcc on 1/5/2010 3:51:59 PM , Rating: 4
If it's truly ROM (as in read only memory), writing to it at all is an issue. Presumably it's actually some form of non-volatile RAM, or EEPROM.


RE: Misleading
By littleprince on 1/5/2010 3:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Is there any internal memory other than the 512MB rom? Like to store pictures/music???


RE: Misleading
By steven975 on 1/8/2010 1:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
yes, microSD. 4GB included, but can be upgraded to 32GB.

Droid is the same, just comes with a 16GB card.


RE: Misleading
By omnicronx on 1/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: Misleading
By amanojaku on 1/5/2010 4:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
A limitation of a device is one that cannot be overcome, like a monitor that's has amber phosphors when you want color. In this case it's a software "feature" of the installed Android Store application. As an open source device you could use another store application that will save to the SD card.


RE: Misleading
By Keeir on 1/5/2010 5:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
So wait... you can legally put Apps onto a SD card right now?

If not, and it appears the answer is no...

I am not sure -how- you can not call it a limitation. Currently and projected for sale of device, the total amount of storage on the phone for Apps is limited to 512 MB max. Since Apps can run significantly more than 10 MB (10 MB is the limit before you must run WiFi I believe for Apple, there are apps 80-100 MB large and Apple could sell you a 2GB app, but I believe the largest is iWeb or some such ~350 MB), this seems fairly significant. My iphone currently has over 600 MB of apps... and I have less than 20 installed.


RE: Misleading
By amanojaku on 1/5/2010 5:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
Apps downloaded from Android Market cannot be stored on the SD card. The Google platform does not restrict you to the Android Market, however. Therefore it is not a limitation of the device, but a limitation of Android Market. It's possible to never use any app from Android Market, and Google would be just fine with that. And they would run from the SD.


RE: Misleading
By Keeir on 1/5/2010 6:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
ahh, thats an important clarification. But I am guessing (i really have no idea), that the Andriod App store fits the same function as the iTunes App store on the iphone. IE, it really is -the only- place for an average user to go and safely/legally download content. Are there other significant sources easily accessable from the Andriod phones? (My first google search really doesn't show too promising a result)

Regardless, since the Andriod market could potentially be used by a PC or different phone with higher built in memory with Andriod... and these devices provide adqeuate storage space, but the Nexus One does not is indeed a limitation of the Nexus One currently. I personally think since Google Designed this Phone that the limitation will disappear in the future, but currently not sure how else you can call it?


I likes it but not for me...
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 3:41:51 PM , Rating: 3
I has got to have my keyboard.




RE: I likes it but not for me...
By HotFoot on 1/5/2010 3:45:35 PM , Rating: 1
Nokia N900 perhaps.


RE: I likes it but not for me...
By microslice on 1/5/2010 3:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I has got to have my keyboard.


That's what I thought when I got my Motorola Droid. I wanted the keyboard as I thought it would make it easier for text messaging. But, it turns out that I'm using the touch screen more. The keys on the keyboard are too far recessed and close together and I make too many errors...especially on the top row. Another person I talked to at a party that recently bought a Motorola Droid is experiencing the same issues.

This may be just a problem with the Motorola Droid (most likely), but don't think just because a phone has a keyboard that it's easier to text.


RE: I likes it but not for me...
By adiposity on 1/5/2010 4:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it's not the best hardware keyboard I have used (sch-i760 wasn't bad). However, I am ~95% accurate now, after I got used to it. I definitely prefer it to the on-screen keyboard.


By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not impressed with any phone's keyboard until they be used as fast as the iPhone's. I was so impressed when I went to the Apple store to get my iTouch repaired but was replaced instead by a some refurbished junk (I think) when that little kid was typing his repair statement with his iTouch! Wow, again!


RE: I likes it but not for me...
By AEvangel on 1/5/2010 6:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but don't think just because a phone has a keyboard that it's easier to text.


You know I wonder that myself....maybe I'm just old fashioned...I should really try out the new phone first, but I just have always had one.


RE: I likes it but not for me...
By davemang on 1/6/2010 4:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
I think the biggest advantage to using the physical keyboard is that you can see the full screen while typing. For example when using ssh. Now that I have gotten used to it, I definitely prefer the moto keyboard to the virtual one.


By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sad but true .. the iPhone rules!


RE: I likes it but not for me...
By lco45 on 1/5/2010 5:50:09 PM , Rating: 1
I likes your verb conjugation. I has got to start commenting like this too...
Luke ;)


Question...
By bradmshannon on 1/5/2010 2:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
Will the Motorola Droid have the ability to do Voice-to-Text with a software update?




RE: Question...
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/5/2010 2:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
In theory, it might -- assuming it gets the upgrade to Android 2.1 (likely). Based on the presentation, it appears that the speech-to-text is an Android 2.1 API, not a N1 phone-only feature, if I interpreted the speakers' comments correctly.

So probably yes.


RE: Question...
By KentState on 1/5/2010 3:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why it wouldn't once upgrade to 2.1. It already does speech-to-text with the voice search functionality. From what I understand, some people already have 2.1 running on their Droid phones and it's suppose to be rolling out to everyone shortly.


RE: Question...
By nafhan on 1/6/2010 9:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
And this is the type of thing that probably scares Apple a little bit: Google has a literal army of very intelligent software engineers working to add "free" features to Android phones, even phones that didn't originally ship with said features.


RE: Question...
By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Apple's scared at all. Have you seen the lines of products that Google has gotten lining up for people to gawk over and pay thousands of dollars for ... especially these rich folks who know nothing about computers at all and yet they all walk out of the Apple store each with a $2,500 Apple computer/laptop? Yea .. I believe Apple's really scared now.

And what about all those really smart Google engineers that Apple don't seem to have .. hm ... not true .. just look at all the AppStore ... LOL.


RE: Question...
By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
Man, you guys are like these suburban folks that are rich but know nothing about technology so when someone says this and this can do this and they all go ... really? Wow!


This is even more telling...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/5/2010 2:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
The Nexus One is coming to Verizon later this year. If Verizon also gets the fourth gen iPhone, AT&T is royally screwed.




RE: This is even more telling...
By Ard on 1/5/2010 3:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Please let that day come. I would love to dump AT&T and go to another provider. Having the option of a 4th Gen iPhone, Droid, or N1 would be very, very sweet.


RE: This is even more telling...
By mcnabney on 1/5/2010 5:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
The rumours are pretty solid that Verizon will get the 'Global iPhone'. I don't know if I would call it 4th gen though. It will have CDMA/EVDOrevA/GSM/HSDPA - but no LTE. So be careful with phrases that sound like 4G. The LTE phones will start appearing in 12 months though. I don't know anything in particular about them.


RE: This is even more telling...
By grath on 1/5/2010 9:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Apple gets the stick out of its ass and/or AT&T gets its head out of its ass, my iPhone contract expiration date = my N1 activation date. 6 more months... :(


By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto!


By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
That's all! ATT should have folded when MCI folded a decade or more ago. Those are two of the oldest useless giants.


hmmm?
By meepstone on 1/5/2010 3:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
"Coming to Verizon in a few months... Google even suggests that you purchase a Motorola Droid if you can't wait for the Nexus One."

From the text under picture.

I don't think I've seen a company suggest a different product that isn't theres. Google only owns the OS to the Droid right?




RE: hmmm?
By killerroach on 1/5/2010 3:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
They don't make the Nexus One either; it's an HTC design (HTC Passion, if word is correct on that). From Google's perspective, it doesn't matter which one people get.


RE: hmmm?
By teko on 1/5/2010 4:00:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Google only owns the OS to the Droid right?


Google doesn't actually own Android. They work on it, but it's owned by the Open Handset Alliance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Handset_Alliance
http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/


RE: hmmm?
By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
My recommendation to all of you who are engaged in this conversation about Nexus: Dump all your provider to T-Mobile for their $49 unlimited calling and get the unlocked iPhone. That's me!


By Leper Messiah on 1/5/2010 2:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
Was going to pick up a motorola droid to replace my razr but this looks to be significantly better and isn't too far away at all.




By blaster5k on 1/5/2010 3:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Some reviews are up already.

As a Droid owner, I can tell you there are definitely some shortcomings. I lost the battery cover within about a month -- and many others have too. Motorola blames it on a manufacturing problem, but people have had trouble even with their "fixed" covers. It's just not a very good design. The volume and camera buttons are wobbly and awkward to use too, so I'm not too impressed by the build quality.

The Nexus One might be better in that department, but it seems to have its own issues too. I find the hardware keyboard to be a nice addition, but some people can do without it. I guess it depends how much punctuation/capitalization you use.


By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I said when I heard about a Motorola phone. I had that Razor and it was a piece of junk. I would never buy another Motorola junk again ... so I went with a Samsung Behold II and heck, it was one of the worst phone ever so I sold it on eBay. Now, I'm so happy with my superfast, ultracool, ... iPhone 3GS. Good luck to all you whiners!

Jump to T-Mobile and get an unlocked iPhone. ATT is a piece of nothing.


By Drag0nFire on 1/5/2010 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto. I need to replace my KRZR. It has destroyed it's 4th battery (though this one got 1.5 years of use unlike the first three).

But I sure wish the Nexus One had a keyboard. And not a junky one like the Droid.


Correction
By augiem on 1/6/2010 1:57:57 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
T-Mobile's plan runs $79.99 per month and includes unlimited texting/MMS, web data and unlimited minutes.


According to the google web store site, the T-mobile plan is $79.99 and only includes 500 minutes (unlimited night/weekend/mobile-to-mobile). For a second I thought T-mobile had undercut sprint's $99 all you can eat plan...




RE: Correction
By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile ... T-Mobile .. T-Mobile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best of both world ... cheapest unlimited plan plus the unlocked iPhone!

Yay to T-Mobile again!


Sprint
By Jeff7181 on 1/5/2010 2:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
If this was available through Sprint I'd sign up today to buy one.




Ummm
By Freezebyte on 1/5/2010 3:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
So, WTF is the big deal about this moto droid phone anyway? Actually, whats the big deal about googles phone? Actually it doesn't matter, we can't have iPhones where I live anyway, they don't work.




timeline
By GruntboyX on 1/5/2010 3:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
Is this a AT&T Spring 2010 or a late March release?




Let me add ...
By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
it doesn't matter whatever size screen you have that's bigger than the iPhone's or whatever CPU you have that may be faster ... nothing comes close the iPhone for so many reasons that I can't even describe. I'm proud to say I'm a PC switcher. I've switched over to the Apple's world but still maintaining my PC/Windows root and blood. I'm not a traitor but Apple has the best products out there and no one will ever come close to their products. Good luck to all of you .. like Samsung ... sorry Sony ... I just couldn't believe that it was Apple who revolutionized the world since the iPhone. Wow!




wow
By DarthKojima on 1/8/2010 2:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Competition is at best, I hope its not a bit pricy tho.




By bugsbunny651 on 1/7/2010 9:21:38 PM , Rating: 1
Nexus or not, I have seen way too many Google phones at T-Mobile and I can say I'm not impressed. I have just purchased the Samsung Behold II for $300 and I was so disappointed that I had to sell it off on eBay. Thank-you lord! Now, I am a proud owner of the iPhone 3GS. Thank-you again!




Congratulations Google!
By corduroygt on 1/5/2010 3:56:52 PM , Rating: 1
You've made the best phone operating in the 1700Mhz AWS network that no one other than T-mobile and some company in Canada uses...Great Job!




RE: Congratulations Google!
By The0ne on 1/5/10, Rating: -1
Screw you Google
By SiliconAddict on 1/5/10, Rating: -1
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